Ivan Goncharov has said: “When you don’t know what you’re living for, you don’t care how you live from one day to the next. You’re happy the day has passed and the night has come, and in your sleep you bury the tedious question of what you lived for that day and what you’re going to live for tomorrow.”
All of us should first think about what last words we will say to our children. But before that, let’s read the story of Stephen R Covery: “I once went to meet a military commander who wanted to bring a massive cultural change in his organization. His service was more than thirty years. He was now a full colonel and was due to retire in the same year. After training his organization for several months, he called me for advice. I asked him why he wanted to take this step. ‘This step is very big. Now you are about to retire that’s why stay calm. Go through the retirement phase comfortably. Award Banquet will be held in your honour. Your friends will want to praise you. Why do you get into this ado?’ I advised.
“Hearing this, a deep seriousness appeared on his face. After a long pause, he decided to tell me a very personal and respectful story. He told me that his father had died recently; and when he was on his death bed, he called me and my mother to say goodbye. ‘He was having a lot of difficulty in speaking. My mother was crying continuously. I became close to my father. He addressed me in a whispering voice. Son, don’t live your life like I have lived. I have not treated you and your mother well and couldn’t make a difference in your lives. Son, promise me that you will not live the way I lived,’ he narrated.
“These were the last words the colonel heard from his father shortly before he died. But these words stuck in the heart and mind of the colonel. He considers them as this father’s greatest gift and legacy. He made a promise to himself on the day of his father’s death that he would make a difference in every area of his life. He further stated that he had always taken the easy way till then. He heard his father’s last words. And he had been playing the role of the protector of the tradition of the past. He had chosen to live a modest and ordinary life, but after the promise he made to his father, he committed to himself that unlike the past he would live a great life, a life that truly serves others. A life that is meaningful that really makes a difference.”
Each one of us can consciously decide that today we will leave behind the ordinary life and start living structured and meaningful life. Such a life will be lived everywhere, whether in the office, at the workplace or in the community. It doesn’t matter what our circumstances are. This greatness can be demonstrated in any way. Now we all have time to say our last words. Everyone is fully empowered and independent to live their own life. Let’s start living a meaningful life today.
According to Robert Greene: “See yourself as an explorer. With the gift of consciousness, you stand before a vast and unknown universe that we humans have just begun to investigate. Most people prefer to cling to certain ideas and principles, many of them adopted early on in life. You are returning to your childlike spirit and curiosity, from before you had an ego and being right was more important than connecting to the world. You explore all forms of knowledge, from all cultures and time periods. You want to be challenged. By opening the mind in this way, you will unleash unrealized creative powers, and you will give yourself great mental pleasure. As part of this, be open to exploring the insights that come from your own unconscious, as revealed in your dreams, in moments of tiredness, and in the repressed desires that leak out in certain moments. You have nothing to be afraid of or to repress there. The unconscious is merely one more realm for you to freely explore.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2023.
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